Your favorite photo that has the least content

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by unrealnature, May 17, 2014.

  1. I'd like to see examples of photographs that you really like that have almost nothing in them -- with explanation for why you like them, if you care to say so. If not, just a link will do. Pictures may be by others or may be your own. If the latter, please feel free to post them in the thread.
    For example, here [ LINK ] is one of my favorites, by Mark Steinmetz. First of all, he gets big bonus points for succeeding (IMO) in making a fine-art cat photograph. But besides that, for me this picture totally evokes, not so much cat essence as what cats in turn evoke when I'm watching them. A whiff of the supernatural ...
    That from a tiny bit of anatomy on top of a (perfectly composed) innocuous background -- that actually makes no sense (what is that crack? If it's a door, it seems to be nailed shut).
    I'd love to see your examples with or without comment. The less content, the better -- but you have to claim/believe that your choice is really good photo.
     
  2. Great suggestion Julie. That's my concepts of photography.
    Whatever you believe to see, it is sure not to be the subject, intended by the photographer. Photos without "stories to tell" and yet photos, that, as I see them, are way more filled with content that makes your mind fly.
    Most of my favorites are obviously abstract with no clearly identifiable connection to the world as we see it. Others are indeed figurative, showing items of reality, if you look carefully, but which are presented in such a way that the seen reality is of little importance - something else is happening like in this one: "house of cards" or in the one below
    00caf4-548337584.jpg
     
  3. I'm kind of a minimalist and am drawn to photos like this one by Dorothea Lange.

    This is one my own favorites:
    00cag7-548340184.jpg
     
  4. Not sure what influence I derived from this shot of my local park's sink lit by 10 AM sun light but it just captivated me by its surreal clarity and simplicity that I nearly got exhausted and sunburned rattling off quite a few shots taken at different angles.
    I know I've seen this before in some long forgotten coffee table book of illustrations and photographs back in the early '80's but this is the sort of minimalist design in nature I'm drawn to.
    00cagw-548343584.jpg
     
  5. Gup

    Gup Gup

    I've always enjoyed this one but never found anyone else that cared one way or the other. Perhaps it's because I was actually there. Looking at it takes me back to that warm, damp morning, alone, days from home, living out of my van with just my dog for company. I can still hear the silence and smell the damp.
    00cah5-548344084.jpg
     
  6. I think all photos have roughly the same amount of content but I think I know what you mean
    00cahB-548344384.jpg
     
  7. I enjoy photos with a minimal number of compositional elements, as opposed to minimal content. Distilling a composition down to a few essential elements is often more difficult than successfully arranging a plethora of elements within the frame. This is one of my current favorites.
    00cahR-548344584.jpg
     
  8. While I was sitting at a red light, I saw this shot of raindrops across the parking lot of an auto parts store. I cropped it a bit to include a part of only one vehicle and a fire plug beside a metal post--as well as the rain drops which had originally caught my eye.
    --Lannie
    00cahW-548344784.jpg
     
  9. These are wonderful! More! More!
    Ellis wrote: "I think all photos have roughly the same amount of content but I think I know what you mean."
    : ) Kind of like the Avedon quote about surfaces that gets trotted out every ten minutes online ("My photographs don’t go below the surface. They don’t go below anything ... "). As if the camera ever did anything else.
    Tim, your picture reminds me of this picture [ LINK ] of Walker Evans's wash basin. The note that you can see in the picture reads: "Please do not disturb the arrangement of the beer caps in the wash bowl."
     
  10. Attached is a minimalist image I entered in the annual Nikon Photo Contest & Nikon published the image for the month of December in their Nikon Photo Contest International Calendar. The squiggly red line is a light on a boat traversing the Barbour in Charleston, SC. Nikon FM2 and 105 f2.5 lens steadied on a battery post.
    00cahq-548345584.jpg
     
  11. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Like many photographers who live in San Francisco, I have tons of photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge. These photos, and the ones that appear in books, postcards, on the web, in advertisements for the city, and tour guides give a complete misrepresentation of what The Bridge (as we call it locally, nobody will confuse The Bridge with that other bridge here) looks like much of the time. This is a photo, one of my favorites, of The Bridge as I have seen it on many days.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Socked in. Very nice, Jeff.
    --Lannie
     
  13. [​IMG]
    Two dogwoods on the Yorktown battlefield one winter.
     
  14. .
    [​IMG]
    Alcatraz Bound • San Francisco • ©Brad Evans 2014
    .
     
  15. My favourite is Eva Rubintein's 'Bed in Mirror' (1972).
     
  16. If you take a print of Jeff Spirer's photo, fold it horizontally in two, crease it sharply, then unfold it, you get a Sugimoto seascape. © Julie H <<< conceptual art
    The above posted examples are wonderful (I know, I already said that ...). I love this kind of photography.
    More examples from Famous Photographers. I'm leaving aside the abstract/minimal kind of picture that works mainly as a visual exercise/puzzle, even though I love that kind of thing. I have reason to believe that many people ... don't. With that in mind, here are two from Roy DeCarava. [ LINK ] and [ LINK> ] DeCarava is just an amazing photographer. If you're not familiar with his work, (good lord!) you are in for a treat!
    Next, two from Aaron Siskind. He seems to be sinking rapidly out of sight in photo history, though in his day, he was considered a giant. First, here [ LINK ] is his Badlands (South Dakota) which really suffers in reproduction since you don't get the necessary grassiness of the grass counterpoint.
    Second example from Siskind is Villahermosa (Olmec) [ LINK ]. When you first look at this one, you'll probably think 'I've seen zillions just like that' but look at it more carefully and notice how carefully this one is composed; how expressive it manages to be. Every little detail is an intentional player in a Siskind picture. (And yes, the dead-black is supposed to be dead-black. Dead-black was his favorite color -- and it's one of mine. I wish more people would get over the detail-at-all-costs aversion to velvety, committed, full-bodied black.)
     
  17. Niagara Falls simplified.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    One of mine from years ago on B&W film. The hedge marks the horizon.
    00cakg-548355584.jpg
     
  19. I've hovered my finger over the delete button more than once on this one...
    00cakq-548355784.jpg
     
  20. New moon over the Palouse. Fall harvest and smoke from nearby forest fires make for lousy visibility, but good shooting.
     
  21. Let's try for the picture this time!
    New moon over the Palouse. Fall harvest and smoke from nearby forest fires make for lousy visibility, but good shooting.
    00cal7-548357584.jpg
     
  22. Empty Breezeway 2006
    --Lannie
    00calR-548358584.jpg
     
  23. Nick, your sunset shot reminded me of this one of mine...
    00calj-548359584.jpg
     
  24. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Thanks Lannie. I love minimalism. I even perform John Cage's 4'33' while shooting outdoors to enhance the experience.
     
  25. I like simplicity in photos very much and minimalism (though i have to admit i don't fully understand the term sometimes) is a favorite theme when i'm looking at others work. Here's one of mine that I think could be 'minimalist' and also quite like.
    [​IMG]
     
  26. Indeed it does, William. Nice colors.
     
  27. Christopher, I have to agree with Nick. It's the colors that make that one.
    Another one I like is the "eyes wide shut" of Marta Eva Llamera. There's a kind of vacuous look there that might qualify as "empty."
    --Lannie
     
  28. Interesting thread. One from photo.net member,
    http://www.photo.net/photo/8867884
     
  29. Julie, I love Suskind's Villahermosa. That is an absolutely astonishing image.
    What a wonderful thread!
    --Lannie
     
  30. Wonderful thread, Julie. Here's mine:
    photo
     
  31. Great thread Julie. Here's my example.
    00capV-548371984.jpg
     
  32. one more time with feeling.
    00caps-548373584.jpg
     
  33. Clifford Ross did a series he called Grain.
    I saw these prints at an exhibition. Despite their size, there was surprisingly little grain, which was odd, given the titles. I liked them for the things they made me think about.
     
  34. Here is another one:
    00caqH-548375584.jpg
     
  35. Gordon, very good (I prefer the second version).
     
  36. ...and my second version....
    00carV-548382184.jpg
     
  37. The closest I got to a bird during the outing. I didn't want to go home empty handed.
    00cara-548383684.JPG
     
  38. God, these are good. Just wonderful ... ( <<< again!)
    Here is one from Uta Barth [ LINK ] that, for me, is visual perfume. Which is what many of the posted photos are, for me. Visual perfume; lovely, stirring, disturbing, luscious ... wonderful ... :)
    But not all minimal content photographs work on me in just that way. Here is one from Diane Arbus [ LINK ]. If you know her work (people, people, close, personal, engaged) and her death (suicide), this is kind of a shocking picture ... from her. The picture is titled Blowing newspaper at a crossroads, N.Y.C., 1956.
    Finally, this one [ LINK ] is from Joel Meyerowitz's book Aftermath, which is about the clean-up after 9/11. Yes, it needs the back story (is illustrative as opposed to stand-alone) but notice how a minimal content picture can be powerfully evocative of what is not there; what is gone precisely because the minimal content calls to/for what's missing. Here is Meyerowitz's story of the shot:
    .
    The bulldozer had finished spreading a thin layer of rubble over the raking field just as the shift changed at the o'clock. The field lay undisturbed. I stood at its southern end and just took it in -- nondescript bits of concrete and dirt, sticks and metal shards. Could I make a photograph of this? Would it mean anything? As I looked at the upside-down image on the ground-glass back of my view camera, I saw a pair of feet enter the top of the frame and steadily grow into the full figure of a man who stopped to pick up a fallen rake lying there. Then he crossed the field, dragging the rake over the rubble. I watched him as he made his way out of the frame. When I left the camera and caught up with him, he introduced himself as Toolie O'Toole and told me he was on his way home, having raked all day. I asked him why he'd stopped to pick up the rake when his day was over, but he just gave an easy shrug in reply, as if to say: "Just a rake," or "Can't help myself." I mentioned to him how affecting I now found it to observe the act of raking -- how that simple, seemingly ancient and eternal gesture, performed by so many people for so many months had become emblematic of the work on the site for me. He nodded as I spoke. "That's it," he said, "We're gardeners in the garden of the dead."​
    .
     
  39. [​IMG]
    Probably my personal "least-content"-favorite from last year. Usually I shoot much too tightly framed.
     
  40. Julie, I had never seen that one of Arbus's; and the towers/Meyerowitz photo and accompanying narration are very
    moving. I, too, will say it again: great thread!

    Laura, I'd say you had a successful day. That one is stunning.
     
  41. Amy, thank-you. It's a personal favorite.
    Gordon, Colin, those are wonderful.
     
  42. Georg, after many years at sea, that shot really resonates.
    Julie, like Nick's shot, the Ada Barth photo tweaked my memory again...
    00casx-548388884.jpg
     
  43. I don't know if it's my favorite, but I do like it.
    [​IMG]
     
  44. Undulations. Not really minimalist, but it is all the same object at least.
    00cat7-548389084.jpg
     
  45. Here's my top minimalist photograph:
    00cauw-548395784.jpg
     
  46. Another one:
    00cauy-548395884.jpg
     
  47. I don't know if this one is minimalist, but it has a lot of sky:
    00cav1-548395984.jpg
     
  48. "you really like that have almost nothing in them"
    Not sure if this fits in but I like it.
    Sort of a fits in a way to my mind.
    00cavn-548398584.jpg
     
  49. There are a lot of minimalist shots here with water, so here's mine!
    00cax8-548401684.jpg
     
  50. I really do love Gursky's Rhein II
     
  51. Laura - I'll see your feather and raise you half a bird.
    00cay7-548405884.jpg
     
  52. Some of the most content-empty photos appear to be filled, but filled with fluff or cliches. Much as I enjoy celebrity pix and paparazzi snaps as guilty pleasures, they're like the Sex Pistols song - pretty vacant.
    Most of my whatever-scape photography is in the vein of New Topographics, not so much because I was consciously influenced by the aesthetic but because it seemed to coincide with the way I see things anyway. The urban milieu often presents interesting juxtapositions of patterns and chaotic clutter.
    But my efforts at minimalism were consciously influenced by a Michael Kenna exhibit I saw at a local gallery in the early 2000s - particularly the power station photos - and complementary work by Rolfe Horn.
    [​IMG]
    *
    Over time I've gradually moved away from emulating their austerity through painstaking darkroom/digital manipulations and occasionally heavy vignetting. I began looking for more natural lighting effects and gradation in the sky.
    [​IMG]
    *
    The Masahisa Fukase allusions were completely unconscious. I wasn't aware of his name until 2012 when another member mentioned the similarities between some of my photos and Fukase's. But I must have seen some of "The Solitude of Ravens" iconic photos, which are ubiquitous on fan-made YouTube music videos and elsewhere to convey alienation and isolation.
    [​IMG]
     
  53. We seem to be missing examples of:
    the human body, classical [ LINK ] (Edward Weston, Neil's torso) and not so classical [LINK ] (from Christer Ströholm)
    sexual innuendo in inanimate materials [ LINK ] (also from Ströholm)
    and, most of all, the shadow selfie [ LINK ] (again, from Ströholm -- I'm too lazy to open more than one book this morning)
    - or shadows of any/all kinds, for that matter. Or am I the only one with a weakness for them?
    [Note to all water-lovers above: Beware! water can take over your mind. As background for a composite I was working on, I once went out to get a few shots of ripply water (you know, shallow water with those cool color swirly things that it does with the sun) and came back with almost 700 frames. I think my eyeball had a hangover from the experience.]
     
  54. Don't forget the nude selfie, Julie.
    http://www.photo.net/photo/199720
    If it's good enough, it won't even matter if it's empty or not:
    http://www.photo.net/photo/199717
    --Lannie
     
  55. I do so many shadow photos I don't even think about them most of the time. If I haven't done any photography in public for awhile it's often the first thing I'll do - snap shadows from odd angles, often of people moving around. It's more of an exercise, trying to get the reflexes sharpened again, like a musician warming up with scales or playing a favorite warmup piece.
    Most of them look like what they are. This one turned out to be a bit more ambiguous.
    [​IMG]
     
  56. Sometimes the emptiness is in the feeling the photo leaves inside us.
    00cb03-548413584.jpg
     
  57. And sometimes the emptiness is in the loss of something that we loved.
    00cb04-548413784.jpg
     
  58. [I managed to misspell Stromhölm's name. Three times. Apologies to those confused by the m deficiency. Carry on ... ]
     
  59. ... and there is also the much lauded series of Anthony Weiner's de minimis selfies. :)
     
  60. de minimis selfies​
    [snicker]
    Some are more minimis than others.
     
  61. de minimis selfies​
    What a fabulous phrase!
     
  62. These are wonderful! More! More!"
    Okay.
    00cb3p-548429884.jpg
     
  63. A photo does not need words...it has its own words.
     
  64. another
     
  65. @Dave Reichert, that's funny.
     
  66. "A photo does not need words...it has its own words."​
    That's fine for the passive audience, the true believers, the rubes and marks, or even the dilettantes like the apocryphal story of the emperor chiding Mozart over "too many notes!" From the perspective of the audience member I enjoy a mystery and suspension of disbelief as much as the next person.

    But among the company of fellow practitioners it sounds, at best, reticent, shy, uncomfortable. Usually it sounds lazy, the excuse of an unprepared student: "The dog ate my analysis."; "Me caveman, me just press button, me no think." At worst, it sounds like trying to play a shell game on friends, a con conning cons, a one-trick magician who's afraid the next guy will do his trick better. "I am the great and powerful Ozographer! Pay no attention to that man under the dark cloth!"

    I always had more respect for the musicians who happily described their equipment, technique and influences. They were confident in their own abilities and hoped to encourage the next hopeful musician. Hedging information about gear, technique and influences often comes across as a lack of confidence masquerading as unnecessary mystery. I recall a story in a guitar magazine in the mid-1980s, during the Sammy Hagar era, when Ted Nugent quizzed a guitar tech about Eddie Van Halen's setup for the sounds he got on "5150". Nuge didn't realize the signature sound on "Why Can't This Be Love?" was from a keyboard, not a guitar. For the guitar setup, the tech shared Van Halen's info but told Nugent it wouldn't do any good because the sound was in Eddie Van Halen's hands, not the gear. On the same guitar and gear Van Halen played, Ted Nugent would always sound like Ted Nugent.
    The best actors, directors and theater creators I've known and worked with are the same way. The process is rarely a mystery. They analyze, discuss and cuss every nuance of a play in preparation for the performance. They work together and share themselves to create a better whole, while still reserving individualism and personal flourishes.


    A photography forum that doesn't need words isn't a forum. It's a gallery.
     
  67. Imagine yourself at home, alone. You're sitting on your comfy couch with your favorite beverage in hand. You reach for a book, the cover of which features a picture and the words Ralph Gibson | Syntax. There is no other text on the dust jacket, either back or inside flaps. The only text in the interior of the book is the publisher (Lustrum) and, in very tiny text, the copyright notice.
    You page through the book. As a book, the pictures are seen in layout -- in this case, two-image spreads. This "happens" without your being told to view the photographs in this way. Gibson's images *must* be seen in layout (see the book's title for a hint why).
    You look at this pair, which I will call SPREAD 1 (obviously, Gibson gives no title or caption): [ LINK ]
    and more:
    SPREAD 2
    SPREAD 3
    SPREAD 4
    SPREAD 5
    SPREAD 6
    Is this the most minimal one can go? Where the "content" is in the white genetic recombination of two pictures born only in your, the viewer's, mind?
     
  68. Julie, I am really, REALLY having trouble making any connection whatsoever between the small image and the large image in each pair.
    Is this minimalist or simply obscurantist? This seems to me more of a puzzle than anything else.
    --Lannie
     
  69. Lannie,
    Your "really, REALLY" pleases me no end. Because, compared to, for example, the limp "I don't get it" kind of response, it tells me you've really tried, that you're genuinely interested. Assuming this is true, I'll risk trying to help (it's a waste of time to help the uninterested "I don't get it" poster).
    The image pairs are not a puzzle. I believe you're coming to the pictures with expectations -- you're no newby, you have confidence in your abilities to comprehend photographs -- and you are actively "looking" at the pair of pictures. Your "really REALLY" suggests to me that you are seeing/getting things (feelings, consonances, dissonances, rhythms, arhythms) but they make no sense -- they don't meet your expectations -- so you're tossing them as non-sense.
    If you are can, or rather, if you are willing to (surely you can), go back to the pictures without expectation. Take those unexpected, unfamiliar flavors, scents, sensations, whatever it was that made you use all-caps in your REALLY and let them soak in. Stop the resistance, the assertive sorting; let the pictures lead the dance and see what happens rather than doing a search-for-the-answer analytic. Gibson is generating friction as well as resonance. You should be able to feel it if you get out of the way with your expectations or logic or preconceptions (all of which you've probably before now thought were necessary, hard-earned tools/abilities to use in picture viewing ...).
    Just to add to your confusion -- or maybe pleasure if my instructions help -- Gibson uses the *same* pictures in different pairings in other books, and they work in entirely different ways because of it. Syntax.
     
  70. Okay, Julie, there is something there, I admit. The pairing is not random--and in some curious way it does work, although there is indeed no way (to my linear, strait-jacketed faculties) that it should.
    Julie, this has been an interesting exercise. Thank you.
    --Lannie
     
  71. Here comes another whatever-it-is, empty or not.
    00cbA0-548455584.jpg
     
  72. You're being phased out, moon. You're going to be technologically unemployed.
     
  73. When it comes to presentation controlled by the photographer or skilled editor or curator, anything goes. Captions and written narratives may not be necessary or even appropriate. The juxtapositioning of images is often enough.
    A good recent example is David Alan Harvey's (based on a true story). Yup, the title is stylized exactly like that. I couldn't afford the book but the accompanying video is a lot of fun to watch, and nicely illustrates the concept of image syntax and juxtapositioning without written captions or narrative.
    But a discussion forum lacks that particular type of cohesion. It isn't a controlled, curated, edited or managed presentation of photos. The images may be as random and jarring as the comments - or just as serendipitously resonant.
     
  74. Lex, I admit to trying a little bit to confound you (though I've been waiting for an excuse to bring in Gibson). What I was hoping you'd find was that the pictures *and words* do effectively the same thing i.e. the game is played in your head. Words/pictures are savored, tongued to find their inclination in context. It's not one or the other, it's more of either (words/pictures) in the viewer's perception or reception or whatever. It's all communication; one takes the hit and finds the force (or lack of it). Same difference.
    Words are just one more ingredient. Applied or not according to taste or desired nuance of effect.
     
  75. "What I was hoping you'd find was that the pictures *and words* do effectively the same thing i.e. the game is played in your head."​
    Oh, yes, very much. That's one reason I enjoy meme photos with clever captions and reaction images without captions. It's semiotics in a nutshell. Some of the cleverest conversations I've seen online involved mostly meme pix and reaction images, each linked to its immediate predecessor in the thread, each in turn being used as a jumping off point for the next image. The internet is full of waggish impromptu collaborative curators who are very savvy about the power of images.
     
  76. blue and white
    00cbCO-548464784.jpg
     
  77. Lex, I just watched the video- very interesting concept and I'd imagine difficult to accomplish the making of something like this (at least that works so well).
    Interesting thread Julie. Was the "game is played in your head" concept what you were shooting for when you introduced the thread, or did it evolve on it's on? I ask, because I'm thinking that we have some measure of control of how something is presented, but ultimately, it is the viewer who determines the meaning of a piece. I'm really just thinking out loud here...
    Amy
     
  78. Amy, I didn't have that concept in mind when I started the thread, but it was somewhere in the soup [ LOL ]. What I did have "in mind" was the linked photograph of cat's paws [ LINK ] which is, in many ways, a terrible photograph. I love that picture; it stays with me, its associations and connotations just bloom in my mind. And, apparently they did too for Mark Steinmetz who made the picture and included it in one of his books. He is a very very good photographer.
    Photography is the best tool for maximizing the collection of Perfect Information; for enabling accurate/true analysis. Yet look at all the glorious examples posted in this thread. People have gone to extreme lengths to exclude as much information as possible from their pictures which, paradoxically, serves to maximize effect.
    Appropriate (though I'm just thinking of it) is this verse from Emily Dickinson:
    .
    Essential Oils - are wrung -
    The Attar from the Rose
    Be not expressed by Suns - alone -
    It is the gift of Screws -​
    .
    "Screws." That's the paradox. Violent, or at least laborious, extraction -- in order to get the perfectly ephemeral atmosphere of being there that is perfume. It takes the long experience and hard work of a Steinmetz -- or at least a good photographer -- to take a (good) photograph with (almost) nothing in it.
     
  79. I do not see much in Gibson's syntax, but sometimes these thought are very personal and subjective and not always shareable. But his minimalist content does fit your OP and his vision is very well stated in his very original photographs.
    Sorry, I just got here, but here is an offering to go with the many good examples (great OP). I call it "night train", but it is otherwise contentless, unless you are a fan of light reflections on matter, which it can also be called. Contentless photos are of course never exactly that, apart from those you may not be contented to have made or seen, but can expand into the abstract or the subjective realms quite easily, and are often interesting for simply that.
     
  80. Sorry, double post. The photo...
     
  81. Gup

    Gup Gup

    Lex, the photo of cat's paws reminds me of one you've shown us of the dead insect in the hallway. I'd love to see it again...
    Arthur, I call this one Night Train, also.
    00cbKv-548498884.jpg
     
  82. Great topic and lots of great shots.
    re the Steinmtz image
    (what is that crack? If it's a door, it seems to be nailed shut).
    Julie, it's the bottom of a door, with a draft excluder nailed on. We have one on the bottom of our store room door.


    Here is my contribution...

    [​IMG]
     
  83. Rinko Kawauchi [ LINK ]
    Robert Kenneth Wilson [ LINK ]
    One of those is by far the most famous photo posted to this thread.
     
  84. "Lex, the photo of cat's paws reminds me of one you've shown us of the dead insect in the hallway. I'd love to see it again..."​
    Heh! The deceased archy is part of Yoski, my homage to Eggleston, Shore and plenty of nuttin'.
     
  85. Gup, nice composition, the reflection on the small post makes it. My father was a fan of the old smokies that only had a single headlight; I have just learned that the diesel engines apparently sport three headlights.
     
  86. The Loch Ness monster, like UFOs, arguably has the least "content".
     
  87. Julie, I'm seeing a lot of photographs posted in this thread that contain only one, or very few graphic elements, and apparently, you're equating that with minimal "content". I get your point, but I think you might be using a word that carries more weight than you intend. I see content as something apart from (the representation of) objects within a frame.
    You brought poetry into the discussion. If the photograph were a poem, then the objects depicted would be words, and the content would be expressed in the arrangement or juxtaposition of those objects.
    I think we can all agree that graphically simple photos can and often do have more "content" than many graphically complex compositions. Elements like a single leaf, a feather, a shaft of light, a lone tree on a ridge can sometimes, depending on their context and the viewer's state of mind, evoke thoughts, emotions, or ideas that are far more focused, direct, and visceral than those that are buried in a more densely composed image.
    00cbP5-548517584.jpg
     
  88. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

  89. Here's my contribution....
    00cbQw-548523984.jpg
     
  90. Did somebody say "poetry"? [she said, smiling happily at Dave Reichert]
    .
    At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
    [ ... ]

    And do not call it fixity,
    Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
    Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
    There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
    fragment from the middle of T.S. Eliot's Burnt Norton (No. 1 of the 'Four Quartets')
    .
    Here's a test of your willingness to let go of the literal:
    In these, from Wolfgang Tillmans's paper drop series, do you stop at the edges, or are do you let your mind walk into the fold?
    paper drop 01 [ LINK ]
    paper drop 02 [ LINK ]
    paper drop 03 [ LINK ]
    paper drop 04 [ LINK ]
    (The 01 - 04 numbering are mine, not Tillmans's. The paper that is/are "dropped" is/are photographic prints.)
     
  91. Gup

    Gup Gup

    Thanks, Arthur and Lex.
    Although I don't actively seek out trains I can't resist them. I hurry to be the first to a level crossing when I hear a distant whistle. Then I lean out the window with my Blackberry or Elph and snap away. If I get a wave, I'm back in time :) If it's raining, I'm in my glory!
     
  92. Excellent point, Dave, and wonderful photo. Graphically minimalist photos can have a lot of content and I think minimalism and less content are two different things.
    Wasn't sure if I had an entry to submit to the thread, but perhaps this one is somewhat minimalist while having, for me, not just a little bit of content. It may be, though, that this photo is more about scale and distance than minimalism, though the use of scale and distance to create a sense of empty space could play into thinking about how a minimalist effect can happen.
    00cbVq-548543784.jpg
     
  93. Here's another:
     
  94. "A photo does not need words...it has its own words."
    "That's fine for the passive audience, the true believers, the rubes and marks, or even the dilettantes like the apocryphal story of the emperor chiding Mozart over "too many notes"
    Okay, I'm lost in space here particularly the thing about "rubes and marks". But they must be bad folk so I would want to avoid them. Hey, dude you are a rube and a mark...scary Al Capone stuff.
    A photo talks a thousand words but a thousand words cannot talk a photo.
    A good photo stands alone but to discuss, analysis...all good stuff... where have I said any different?
    00cbWz-548546884.jpg
     
  95. How could a conversation on this subject be complete without a mention of Gurskys 'Rhein II'
    http://artblart.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/andreas-gursky-rhein-ii-1996-web.jpg
    Or for good measure one of Hiroshi Sugimotos beautiful seascapes
    http://cms.xitek.com/uploads/allimg/140218/7527_18112613_2.jpg
     
  96. If I were to choose my absolute favourite however, it would be this image from Hans Christian Schink's 1hr series:
    http://hi-res.outlier.cc/post/6112446830/hans-christian-schink-1-05-2010-5-46pm-6-46pm-s
     
  97. Andrew, see my post of May 18, 2014; 06:32 a.m. for Sugimoto seascape reference (some assembly required); and see Jim Service May 19, 2014; 08:32 p.m. for the Gursky.
    We are being very thorough. : ) (and I'm loving it!)
    [nevertheless, thank you for the links to both Sugimoto and Gursky. More eyes will perhaps take note.]
    Re the Schink, if we get into the *really* abstract, I shall become (even more) horribly poetic in what I link to (I love that kind of stuff, but I'm told other people get peeved by stuff that requires one to run naked down rabbit holes.)
     
  98. Had to Google the definition of "dilettante" & "apocryphal" cuz' something I sensed by Lex's use of it in his reply to Allen, I've been way off all these years as to their meaning. Or maybe I've been confusing it with "debutante" & "apocalypse".
    dilettante: "a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge."
    apocryphal: "(of a story or statement) of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true."
    I think photos speak some words but those more derived from a pure spiritual center that neither judge or criticize but just make known in the quiet part of human consciousness.
    For instance I look at the definition of those two words I'ld gotten wrong for so long and now realize the power of words over images. One is more efficient at getting the idea across over the other for a wider audience who speak and/or understand different languages.
    Here's another one of my favorites that spoke to me as if I was viewing them in a surreal dream even though they were ordinary playtex gloves placed on the back of my toilet to dry. I never quite looked at them this way and I don't know why.
    00cbXN-548547984.jpg
     
  99. Thank you, Fred.
    One more before I sign out...
    00cbYP-548551984.jpg
     
  100. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Sally Mack, beautiful.
     
  101. Thanks, Jeff. I like your photos, too, especially the one of the GG Bridge. --Sally
     
  102. My favorite minimal pics is of two dabbling ducks Minimal in content
    Eos T1i 1/500 F/8 ISO 200 FL 208mm
    and the second (I like them equally) is a pair of White-tailed Kites on a very foggy morning. Minimal in color. Only the feet/legs, and the eye has any color whatsoever.
    EOS T2i ISO 400 1/2000 F/5.6 fl 400mm
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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